Opera al Cinema

Cristina Reid
November 8, 2012

Opera plays a leading role in the history of Florentine culture. Not only was it was here in Florence, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, that opera was born (see 'Claiming Beauty,' TF 83), but other musical forms and instruments were created here. For generations, classical music in Florence was a luxury available to only a small percentage of the population. The educated elite were among the few who could easily enjoy it.


Over time, the opera has become increasingly accessible to the public, and today opera lovers do not have to search far and wide for an enriching musical experience in Florence. Opera is everywhere in the city: in churches and theaters, even on street corners. And it can even be found at the local movie theater.


Whether you are an opera connoisseur or simply looking for an entertaining evening out, the fourth edition of Opera al Cinema offers a culturally enriching, out-of-the-ordinary experience and a trip straight to a world-renowned opera house without the hassle or the expense of travel.

From now until June 2013, here, in the city where opera began, performances are being screened multiple times a week at the Fulgor, Principe and Fiamma theatres, each conveniently located close to the city center. Several of these are live streamings from opera houses in London, Paris, New York and Milan, sensational events in this already remarkable program.


Every Tuesday evening at Cinema Principe (via Matteotti), exciting titles will be broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. There will be 12 screenings in total, including four live streamed performances on select Saturday nights. Performances include Verdi's Aida, Othello and A Masked Ball as well as Handel's Julius Caesar and Mozart's The Clemency of Titus.


Featured at the Cinema Fiamma (via Pacinotti) are performances, several of them streamed live, from Paris, London and Milan, highlighting works by such composers as Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Mozart and Rossini. Some exciting upcoming titles include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Hansel and Gretel, The Lady of the Lake, and Notre Dame de Paris. Likewise, Cinema Fulgor (viale Maso Finiguerra) will also be providing a wide range of beautiful opera on different days of the week, including the Nutcracker straight from London's Royal Opera House on December 13, 2012.

For the best quality, performances are shot in high definition, with 5.1 audio and Italian subtitles, making the audience members feel as though they are right there in the Opéra national de Paris, Milan's Teatro della Scala or New York's Metropolitan Opera House.


As a bonus, between acts, there is additional content such as interviews with the performers and directors, as well as sneak peaks at what goes on backstage during scene changes. The audience gets an insider's perspective on the work that goes into making a performance seem so flawlessly put together.


Experiencing opera is easier, less expensive and more convenient for the Florentine community than ever before: broadcast or live streamed from the most respected opera houses in the world in the comfort of the local movie theater, for just 15 euro. This season's Opera al Cinema lineup surely cannot be missed (for the full program and more information, see www.planetcinema.it).


And you don't even need to get all dolled up.

more articles